Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Voter suppression ... Florida style

    "Typos, hyphenated names and other bureaucratic problems have prompted Florida to reject thousands of voter registrations. Now some of the victims are fighting back in court." "Court hears suit over voter roll glitches".

    "The need to fight voter fraud — even when not required by federal law — is now the state's top reason in fighting civil-rights advocates over a voter-registration process that has left more than 14,000 Floridians unable to vote."
    Those individuals' voter-registration cards were not processed because their names and ID numbers did not exactly match those in federal and state databases, a computer-driven registration hurdle the NAACP and other groups asked a federal judge in Gainesville on Tuesday to shut down.

    "It's important to bear in mind this number is only going to increase. We can reasonably expect tens of thousands of voters will be affected" as the state draws nearer to the November 2008 presidential election, warned plaintiffs' lawyer Adam Skagg.

    As important as those voters are, the right of Florida to shield against voter fraud is primary, argued Pete Antonacci, a former statewide prosecutor who represents Secretary of State Kurt Browning in the litigation.
    There's more:
    Florida already is under a federal court injunction preventing it from enforcing another "vote fraud" law, that one imposing stiff penalties on organizations such as the League of Women Voters if they are late turning in the voter-registration cards they collect.
    "State: Voter fraud must be fought".


    Saint Marco has another vehicle to argue his relevance: "Florida lawmakers have the power to negotiate a new gaming compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe directly, the Senate's legal counsel said Tuesday, adding another twist to the state's ongoing legal feud over gambling." "Lawmakers, Tribe Can Deal, Lawyer Says".

    "Senate leaders are poised to rewrite the gambling compact between the governor and the Seminole Tribe if the Florida Supreme Court rules in the Legislature's favor, Senate leaders said Tuesday." "Senate is poised to redo tribe deal".

    Chamber whines as earth warms

    "Lawmakers hear dueling experts today about the costs of global warming. An expert for the Florida Chamber of Commerce is scheduled this afternoon to tell a Senate panel about the threat to the economy posed by strict green house gas limits proposed by Gov. Charlie Crist." "Experts duel over climate change".

    The GOP just doesn't seem to get it, and doesn't want the rest of it to get it either: "The White House censored climate scientists and edited their testimony on global warming before Congress, Democrats charged Monday after a 16-month investigation into allegations of political interference with scientific inquiries." "Political pressure on scientists alleged".

    Corrections Corp. of America gets a pass on privatization scam

    "A company that runs three prisons for the state has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million — about 42 cents on the disputed dollar — to settle a long-running controversy over staffing levels and equipment purchases." Not a great deal for the state:

    Ken Kopczynski is a long-time lobbyist for the PBA, which represents officers in state-run prisons, and he has followed privatization issues closely in the Legislature for many years. He said DMS let GEO off too lightly last year and didn't do much better with CCA.

    "It's nice that DMS got better than 10 cents on the dollar this time but almost half is better then nothing," said Kopczynski. "It's a shame that CCA and GEO are so entrenched with state government that they can get away with this."

    He recalled that the DMS audit in 2005 showed $12.7 million in overpayments to prison companies.

    "If you or I had gone to the bank and the teller gave us $12.7 million by mistake, you would expect to pay all of this back," he said. "Now, if you're a well connected private prison company and the state overpays you $12.7 million, you only have to pay back less then $2 million total between CCA and GEO — not a bad return for your investment in lobbyists, no?"
    "News-Press: Deal reached in state private-prison dispute".

    "The I-word"

    "To judge from the GOP campaign, illegal immigration is the No. 1 topic of public concern. In fact, that is not the case. U.S. forces remain at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy is teetering on the brink of recession, the U.S. healthcare system is in shambles, and the sky's the limit on the price of a barrel of oil. National polls, including those from the Pew Center, say these are the issues that voters find most worrisome, with immigration lagging far behind." "Positive approach didn't last long".

    Go Magic!

    "When the Orlando Magic signed a contract with Adonal Foyle this year, they did more than bring a reserve center to town. They also brought one of the NBA's most passionate political activists." "New guy Adonal Foyle brings game, political advocacy".

    Charlie says "no"

    "Despite pleas from cities, counties and school districts, Gov. Charlie Crist and leaders of the Florida Legislature said Tuesday they have no plans to use state money to help bail out local governments hampered by the near-collapse of a state-run investment fund." "Crist: State won't bail out investment fund".

    "Local governments will be able to withdraw no more than a quarter of the $12 billion they have invested in a Florida-run investment fund before next spring -- because the fund doesn't want to sell the investments at a loss." "Florida says $9B can't be pulled from fund".


    "Gov. Charlie Crist and other state leaders unanimously selected former Florida Comptroller Bob Milligan on Tuesday as the interim director of the agency that has been besieged by questions over shaky investments in a state-run pool of local governments." "Ex-comptroller tapped to lead troubled agency". See also "Milligan tapped to oversee state investments" and "State board continues to look for investment pool answers".


    "Members of the Florida Baptist General Convention and two lawmakers stood with Alan Crotzer on Tuesday and urged passage of a claims bill to pay him $1.25-million for two decades he served in prison for a crime DNA evidence proved he did not commit. The bill died last year." "Hope grows for Alan Crotzer".


    "North Palm Beach banker Jeff Atwater took the next-to-last step toward the Senate presidency Tuesday, winning the formal support of his Republican caucus." "Atwater likely next Senate president". See also "Senate GOP picks Atwater as president-designate" and "Republicans pick South Florida's Jeff Atwater to become Senate president".


    "The state deserves the citrus canker mess it has made for itself." "Canker bill comes due, but avoid overcharges". See also "Canker effort was well-intended but poorly executed".

    Stop it

    "A Clearwater company has agreed to stop using the names and logos of 63 universities, including five in Florida, to entice students to consolidate their loans." "Loan consolidation firm must stop using names of Florida universities".

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